Founded by three hardcore cyclists in 2009, Arizona’s State Bicycle Co. launched with a straightforward goal: to give passionate riders a premium fixed gear/single speed bike at an affordable rate. Here we are just under a decade later and the brand is definitely making good on its mission. Most recently, they released two new models that easily live up to the company’s exceptional standards. The Nightshade and Black Matte 6 are sleek stunners that perform as admirably as they look.
We had the chance to get our hands on the Black Matte 6 and it’s an instant classic. It rides beautifully and can handle any terrain. Featuring a monochromatic black steel frame and new lo-pro matte black wheels, the bike exudes prime performance and swift approachability in every respect. The handlebar brakes made slowing down or stopping a breeze. Overall, the Black Matte 6 is tough, light, steady, optimal and dependable.
It’s worth reiterating that the Black Matte 6 is a fixed gear bike (aka “fixie”). To elucidate, fixies are modern bikes that have been boiled down to their core basics. Once you’re riding them in fixed gear mode, the pedals do not stop turning, meaning no coasting. As a result of the stripped down approach, fixies are lighter and more customisable than most alternatives. They also require less maintenance. Some experts even claim that fixies maximise the transfer of energy from the rider to the wheel and are therefore more efficient.
Due to their minimalist approach and the associated benefits, fixies have taken off like wildfire in cities across the world. However, while fixies are more simplistic in concept, they also demand a steadier amount of physical exertion. In other words, be prepared to break a sweat and work those leg muscles when riding a fixie! And if all this sounds like too much effort, you can transform the fixed gear into a single speed using a flip flop hub.
State Bicycle Co.’s other recent release goes by the name Nightshade. It employs a brilliant, eye-catching purple colourway. Like the Matte Black 6, the Nightshade was built to deliver top tier performance at a completely manageable price. On both models you can choose between 40m deep-v wheels or the lighter and slimmer “lo-pro” wheels. If fixed gear sounds a little too aggressive you can switch it up to single speed using a flip flop hub. Both bikes also have front and rear brakes, trusty steel frames and internal chain-tensioners. And again, let’s not forget the best part: they come in at under $500 with a five-year warranty. Now there’s an offer too good to refuse.